chapter  4
23 Pages

Institutions and ‘illicit’ social order

ByChristopher Marc Lilyblad

The purpose of the fourth chapter is to further theorize and develop the instrumental analytical framework in order to explain how illicit authority can establish social norms, rules, and institutions to sustain territorially circumscribed social order and governance. To this end, the first section offers a social and communicative ontology that recognizes how individuals, via micro-level agency and socialization, collectively produce social structures. Herein, Giddens’s structuration theory offers a relevant theoretical approach for analyzing the recursive interaction between agency and structure leading to the development of complex systems of rules and the corresponding organization of resources. In the context of illicit social order, this recursive relationship between agency and structure is mirrored by the relationship between authority and institutions to establish social order, i.e., the process of institutionalization. Thereafter, drawing on constructivist work on norms and rules, I discuss relevant norm and rule types that are generated in the context of illicit social order, with a particular focus on the differentiation between regulative rules, including norms and tacit/informal rules, and constitutive rules. With regards to the latter, Searle’s communicative approach illustrates how, within bounded social systems, the institutionalization of norms and rules cannot be analytically separated from authority structures and corresponding social hierarchies through which they are produced and sustained. Recursively, institutionalization then also perpetuates the status of those in authority. Finally, by applying the notion of constitutive rule-making, it is possible to differentiate between ‘informal,’ ‘illegal,’ ‘illegitimate,’ and ‘illicit’ as qualifying designators relative to the phenomena, which are terms that are often used interchangeably in the context of governance by ‘non-state actors’ but, in fact, have very different meanings in light of varying institutional contexts.